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My Blog

A Birthday Party With a Twist

Good morning to all my readers.  Another gorgeous day here in the Chicago land area.  I am so happy to have these types of days.  Last years summer was unbearable with all the heat.  This is such pleasure. 
Well, today I wasn't really sure how to title this story.  sometimes in life there are things that occur that you can quite put your finger on it...and this may be one of them. 
Anyway, the story begins with preparations for my eldest daughters first birthday party when she was in kindergarten.  She was going to turn 6 years old.  It was the first one that all the children were invited from her school .  This was probably the most really exciting one.  Before the excitement was over the cake and the presents...now, it was over the kids and the games.  I was a huge party giver and took strides in decorating and making everything special.  We lived in the city at the time, and we had an attached patio to the garage that was enclosed.  I set up tables inside, decorated it to the nines.  Each place setting had hats, favors and horns.  I set up an area where all the games would be played, and had most of the food prepared.  It was for 5 and 6 year olds...it didn't take much.  I planned on the streamers and balloons to be put up the next morning along the fences.  The time came when I needed to get ready to work.  I was a waitress in a German restaurant and this was a big night.  It was the German Fest.  I was pretty much guaranteed to make about $100.  Now back in 1982 that was a LOT of money and I was counting on it to supplement the money I had spent on the birthday party.  My daughters were next door playing with their friend. 
Now my neighbors were taking down their deck to rebuild a new one.  Our kids ran in and out of the houses like nothing.  They had evidently, not put anything across the doorway that led out to the deck...which no longer was there...and out the door little miss birthday girl came running.  Boom, straight down into a pile of rocks.  All sorts of screaming and crying went on.  I came racing out of the house to find her lying and crying in this pile of rubble.  I ran over there and scooped her up and brought her back home.  I checked her out for any broken bones.  I cleaned up all the Knicks and scrapes and placed ice bags of peas and carrots here and there.  Now, my girls were supposed to stay with my neighbors until my husband got home from work.  I looked up at the kitchen clock and realized now...I couldn't leave her alone.  I called into work...let me tell you, they were  not  happy...this was an unusually busy night.  I must say, the whole time, I kept thinking of the money I wouldn't be making as well, but my daughters always came first.  I worried that, even though at the moment she seemed okay, you never know.  It was a 6ft. fall.  Anything could happen and not show up right away.  Now I was also faced with whether or not to cancel the party for the next day.  My daughter cried and begged and pleaded for me not to.  I decided to wait until the next morning and then try to reschedule.  Now you wouldn't think that would be so difficult to do, but I had the other daughter's birthday planned for two weeks later. 
I sat and watched her all through the night.  She was all patched up like a Raggedy Ann Doll.  Poor little thing.  But we got through the night.  As I watched her sleep, waking her every so often to make sure that there was no concussion, I must confess...I thought and lamented over the money I was losing.  What I really was doing, was thinking of ways to tighten the belt to make it through the next couple weeks without the money.  After all, I had another daughter and another birthday party planned.  Well, there was nothing I could do...that's the way it was going to have to be! 
The next morning, my daughter woke up with out a worry or care in the world, except for her special party.  She seemed just fine so the party was not cancelled.  All the 25 children arrived.  I had a dear friend who I graciously volunteered to help me with the party.  We played race games with an  egg on a spoon, I had a big bowl filled with cotton balls and we blindfolded the child and gave them a big wooden spoon and timed each one to see how many cotton balls they could get out.   We also played drop the clothespin in the milk gallon bottle and had a hula hoop contest.  I was amazing to see her hula hooping, when just the night before, I had visions of a hospital stay.  It was a  given, we played pin the tale on the donkey and so much more.  They ate . had cake and my daughter opened presents. It was a success and my daughter was so thrilled.  There are some rewards in life that are cannot be matched by all the money in the world...and that is the smile on your child's face.  The party went off without a hitch. 
Now the next morning, I got a call from my boss, asking whether I could work for him the next day.  He was in a real pinch, his Monday girl had a death in the family and he needed me to be the bartender and waitress.  Well, of course I said yes, first off, because I felt so awful leaving him in a pinch on Saturday for the fest and secondly, any little bit of money I could make, I was grateful for.  Monday's were pretty slow...but anything would help.  And, to top it off, Monday was my husbands day off, so I didn't have to worry about a sitter.  So I went to work the next day.  I was right, it was pretty slow.  But something is better than nothing.  At the end of the day.  I walked around the bar straightening up the bar stools.  And when I reached the second before last stool, there on the floor lied a $100.00 bill.  It must have fallen out of someone's pocket...who knows when.  I picked it up and thanked God.  It was just about what I had expected to make the night I had stayed home with my daughter.  I sighed a sigh of relief.  There was no way to ask who it belonged to. The thought even of my boss placing it there for me to find had crossed my mind.  We had been long time associates and I thought maybe he felt bad for me and placed it there.  But I rather liked thinking that God had helped me out.  He knew how desperately that money would come in handy.  Maybe placing my child first, and sacrificing the money made Him help me.  At least that is the way I wanted to believe.   And so...I didn't have to serve eggs and spaghetti for the next week or so and the next birthday party was right around the corner, and now I would be able to afford it. 
Life throws curve balls at us all the time.  It's how we learn to hit them when they cross that plate that matters.  Life is also about priorities.  God and family.  Glad mine were in check and I didn't strike out.    

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